WCW: Monday Nitro (07.28.97)

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WCW Monday Nitro
July 28, 1997
Charleston, WV
Civic Center

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/10/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Jeff Jarrett (6/9/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (10/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Ultimo Dragon (7/22/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho (6/28/1997)

SIDE NOTE: I only have two VHS tapes of Monday Nitro to this day that I recorded myself: one is where WCW put on a three-hour “best of” show in late 1999, and this episode. Don’t ask me why because I couldn’t tell you.

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, and Mike Tenay.

NITRO GIRLS!

  • Ric Flair & Curt Hennig vs. Vicious & Delicious (w/Vincent)

So Hennig is in the Four Horsemen, eh? He bumps around for Norton to start with a spill over the top rope and then the hair pull big swing. Tag to Flair, it’s amazing the standing ovation he gets just for stepping in between those ropes. Norton softens him up for Bagwell. At one point when Buff does his signature double bicep pose and big cheesy grin, Hennig runs him down from behind with a clothesline to garner his first pop in WCW. Flair and Bagwell slug it out ending with a FIGURE-FOUR. Match breaks down and we must take a commercial break. When we return, Flair is stuck on the bad side of town. He lays in chops where he can, but can’t reach Hennig. Norton avalanches him in the corner and he sells it BIG time. To be fair, Norton is a rather large man. Eventually, Flair leaps towards Hennig for the tag that doesn’t draw much of a reaction. Oh look, here comes Syxx to pull Flair’s tights down. Gross. Even with all the distractions, Flair manages to help trip Norton while Hennig puts Bagwell in the HENNIGPLEX for the win. (9:09 shown) Awkward match in some parts with Hennig not really seeming to know what to do with either Bagwell or Norton, but the Flair stuff was fun. What happened to Vincent during all that interference? What is the point of him? *½

Gene Okerlund brings out the #1 contender to the WCW world title Lex Luger. He’s found a loophole to get himself a world title five days sooner than originally planned. It appears that Hollywood Hogan has been too busy making movies to defend his belt over the last thirty days. Try the last five months, pal. Uncensored PPV? Triangle match. Spring Stampede THROUGH the Great American Bash PPVs? Nowhere to be found. Next week on Nitro, Hogan must defend the championship against Lex Luger for the special three-hour episode #100. Would August 1997 be the period we can definitively say that ratings began to trump buyrates? Not so much for the WWF, but certainly WCW. Although they did seem to try some PPV main events back in February with Sid and Bret changing the WWF title back and forth.

NITRO GIRLS!

  • WCW World Television Champion Ultimo Dragon vs. Prince Iaukea

Flashback to last week when Ultimo Dragon regained the TV strap from Steven Regal gets shown. Dragon does his signature handstand on the top buckle and kicks Iaukea around. He keeps Iaukea grounded with chinlocks and headscissors. When they go to the air, Iaukea delivers a superplex. Dragon fires back with a backbreaker and tries a Moonsault, but lands on his feet when Iaukea moves out of the way. Powerbomb-hurracanrana-sunset flip sequence scores another nearfall for Iaukea. Then it gets kind of weird as neither man seems to know what they want to do. Just go for the finish, guys. DRAGON SLEEPER. Good night, Prince. (4:47) Dragon needs better competition. ½*

Okerlund introduces us to Ric Flair. He’s certain that Curt Hennig is a part of the Four Horsemen now. Out comes Hennig to prove otherwise. He’s sticking with this “free agent” story. Flair says Hennig just doesn’t want his wife thinking he’s out all night with the Nature Boy. WOO! Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael come down to welcome Hennig into the fold. Flair grabs one of the local Hooters ring girls. I’m sure she’s real delighted. Five women deep for each of the Horsemen, ten women for Gene. WOO! Hennig wants to say a free agent, but Flair keeps whooping and hollering doing everything he can to bring him on the team.

  • Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael vs. The Texas Hangmen

Tenay does his darnedest to put over the Texas Hangmen as a threat who have made their name in the AWA, Japan, and Puerto Rico. Mongo works a lot of this. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash call into the show and say they’re already in Detroit, which means they’re probably in the building. Hall bullies Zbyszko and challenges him to come out of retirement. They mention the main event of Scott Steiner against Randy Savage, and talk down to Lex Luger. Anyways, Mongo has a little trouble with a Tombstone with one of the Hangmen and nearly tumbles over into ref Nick Patrick. Oh boy. Benoit gets the tapout with the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE. ½*

NITRO GIRLS!

  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Alex Wright

I can’t help but notice there is a lot of empty seats facing the hard camera right now. Lots of armdrags are exchanged to start. Jericho escapes a headlock and superkicks Wright to the floor. Once Wright is back on the apron, Jericho springboards and shoulderblocks him down. He tries a suplex on the floor, but Wright counters to turn the tide. Back in, Wright delivers a flying stomp. He misses a second one and Jericho mounts his comeback with not one, not two, but THREE corner clotheslines. Lionsault to the back! Wright rolls to the apron, but gets stuck in a sleeper hold for some reason. All Wright has to do is drop to the floor for the break and to snap Jericho’s throat on the top rope, which he does. Back inside, Wright executes a BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX for the win and the Cruiserweight title! (6:27) No doubt, the lowest point for the Cruiserweight title to date. Look at the list of champions: Shinjiro Otani, Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon, Syxx, Chris Jericho…Alex Wright. At least it’s a short reign. **

Gene Okerlund brings out Jeff Jarrett, Dean Malenko, and Debra. Is this alliance for real? As Alex Wright walks past Debra while Malenko confirms he’s got Jarrett’s back, she looks like she might be making a deal with the new Cruiserweight champ as well. Before Malenko and Jarrett go any further, Dean wants to know Jarrett’s relationship with Eddie Guerrero. Since, you know, Eddie cost Malenko the US title that Jarrett currently holds and all. Eddie just wanted to be around a winner. That’s all. Jarrett vows to be the one to finally put the Horsemen out to pasture. Before we wrap up, Debra makes it clear they don’t want Eddie and do want Malenko.

HOUR NUMBER TWO! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay.

  • Diamond Dallas Page vs. Syxx

Goodness gracious, DDP is over. People act like his rise through the ranks was a forced push or something because he’s Bischoff’s buddy. Not even close. Signs everywhere, hand signals everywhere, DDP chants as loud as can be. Syxx bumps all over for this guy. Pumphandle backbreaker, swinging neckbreaker, and an atomic drop puts him on the floor. Syxx snaps DDP’s neck on the top rope to take control. He delivers his kick combo in the corner and hits the Bronco Buster while the crowd LOUDLY chants for DDP again. DDP rallies back and executes the Pancake Slam. Vincent appears and gets knocked off the apron. Syxx tries to sneak up from behind for the Buzzkiller, but DDP backs up into the corner and drops Syxx with the DIAMOND CUTTER. While Vincent manages to distract ref Randy Anderson, Curt Hennig shows up from out of nowhere and blasts DDP from behind with some taped knux. Well, he’s out. Hennig places Syxx on top of DDP and everybody scurries away as Syxx gets the 1-2-3. (3:42) So is Curt Hennig in the nWo now? Nahhhh, he’s a free agent! He just told us so not even a half hour ago. *½

  • Dean Malenko vs. Hector Guerrero

Some feeling-out stuff to start. Hector delivers some European uppercuts, but Malenko punishes him with a back suplex. Series of nearfalls ensue. Hector gives Malenko a headscissors out of the corner as Jeff Jarrett and Debra strut down the aisle. Hector gets distracted by them allowing Malenko to dropkick the knee and apply the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF for the win. (4:34) Chavo comes out to help his uncle and they put the boots to him. *

Over to Gene Okerlund. He’s with Konnan who plans to take care of each luchadore who stood up to him last week starting with La Parka.

Time for 1-800-COLLECT’s ‘On the Road with Lee Marshall’. That moron is up in Detroit having a Nitro Party. Does Heenan bite on the weasel joke? Yes, he does. Who is writing these jokes?

  • The Giant vs. Great Muta

Much like he does with DDP, Randy Savage yells at the Giant from the back row of the civic center. They’ll meet each other at Road Wild. This is a rematch from last week where Muta lost by DQ after he sprayed green mist in the Giant’s face. Eric Bischoff heads over to the announce table and does commentary with just Tony Schiavone. He’s actually a pretty entertaining heel commentator in small doses. Muta sells Giant’s blows by bailing to the floor. At one point, he sneaks under the ring and comes out on the other side to dropkick Giant from behind. For some reason, Giant acts like he’s been blinded. Maybe selling the mist from last week? He dropkicks Giant down to the mat and lays in the elbow drop for two. Muta comes off the top rope on the Giant once, twice, BUT GETS GOOZLED ON THE THIRD SHOT. When Muta sprays the mist at him, Giant blocks with his forearm and CHOKESLAMS him for the win. (5:59) He may be big, but he ain’t stupid. ½*

Afterwards, Larry Z comes out and drags Bischoff away from the announce table and hands him off to the Giant for a HUGE MEGA CHOKESLAM to generate one of my favorite pops. WCW was beating up the boss way before Vince ever took a Stone Cold Stunner. With Lex Luger getting so much attention since Bash at the Beach, Giant really needed this moment to get some of his cool factor back. What made it even better is that there weren’t any commentators around to talk all over the moment like they usually do.

NITRO GIRLS! I think I just saw a ‘Zbyszko 3:16’ sign.

  • Konnan vs. La Parka (w/Sonny Oono)

La Parka gives Konnan his finisher: the Corkscrew Moonsault, but only gets two. The chair gets involved, but Konnan ducks the swing and dropkicks the chair back at La Parka. 1-8-7 leads to the TEQUILA SUNRISE for the win. (1:43) So much for La Parka. Psychosis runs down to break up the hold that Konnan won’t release. He’ll get Konnan next week in Auburn Hills. ½*

On the phone, JJ Dillon announces that he’s going to try to get Sting back into a contract with WCW and back in the ring by September. If Sting is in Auburn Hills next week, JJ Dillon will try to get an offer to him.

  • Scott Steiner (w/Rick Steiner) vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth)

This is a match you’d never think you would see. Really tense tie-up to start. Savage gets to choking him and takes a press slam for his actions. Out on the floor, Savage punches Rick and grabs a chair. He throws a chair in the ring and wastes time as we go to commercial. When we come back, Steiner lands the twisting belly to belly suplex to cause Savage to bail again. Of course it turns out to be a trap. Scott picks up Liz to get her out of the way and gets nailed by Savage for a ride into the steps. They even end up fighting over the guardrail for a short time. Savage walks all the way around the floor section to come at Steiner from behind. He’s just at his crazy best here. There’s either some SERIOUS leniency or this is no-DQ. Back inside, Savage goes for the Macho Elbow and gets distracted by Rick. He flies down anyway and gets caught in a belly to belly suplex. Back to the floor. They head back into the crowd where Savage is flung back over the guardrail. Just a wild brawl for Nitro. Back in, Steiner delivers the butterfly slam. SUPER FRANKENSTEINER to Savage! Never thought I’d see that. Elizabeth hops up on the apron to prevent the pinfall. Oh, here comes the Outsiders. They sure did make pretty good time coming from Detroit! The match gets thrown out as the crowd begins to throw garbage at the ring while Savage drops MACHO ELBOWS on the Steiner boys. (8:44 shown) Still in the building, Giant makes the save and challenges Kevin Nash to a fight since he hasn’t forgotten Bash at the Beach. Nash’s excuse is that he doesn’t want to battle through all the security, so Doug Dellinger steps aside if that’s the only reason. Nash walks up to the steps and just stands there wrapping his leather belt around his fist just as we’re outta time. Good match as I’m just intrigued by the combination of these two. Unlike Hogan, Savage didn’t care. It seems like he would wrestle anybody. **½

WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK IN AUBURN HILLS!

rw_97

Road Wild goes down on August 9. Here’s the card as it looks right now.

MAIN EVENT: WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan vs. Lex Luger
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Outsiders vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
The Giant vs. Randy Savage
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Curt Hennig

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Posted on October 5, 2013, in WCW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I absolutely love this site! Great work and perfectly goes hand-in-hand while I re-live Nitro’s entire run. Couldn’t agree more with your comment on Vincent. He was my least favourite nWo member. Check out the fan sign towards the end of the main event, which says ‘The nWo Network’ This guy (from the future?) had the right idea even back then ;)

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